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How to Become a Revenue Agent

Career News August 26, 2013

A revenue agent is typically someone who is employed by the Internal Revenue Service, someone appointed to examine and audit financial records of individuals, businesses and corporations. However, there are also local, private or state entities in addition to the federal IRS department.

What to Expect from the Revenue Agent Career

This is typically an entry-level position that requires a basic understanding of accounting principles. Beginners can expect to work on records of suspected criminals, or perform perfunctory tasks. Others, usually experienced “senior” revenue agents, may be called on to appear in court and give a testimony or handle other problematic areas that would stump newer agents. There are agents that handle financial products, transactions, international examinations and computer audits, among others. Revenue agents may also work as collectors and call citizens or business that owe on their taxes or review tax returns for discrepancies.

This entry-level position will give you the capacity to learn practical accounting skills, and to climb the ladder quickly, as there are varying grade levels that you can reach. This job requires not only a grasp of accounting principles, but also the ability to make decisions, working with customers, business owners and even CEOs at the corporate level. It does require some knowledge of computer technology and data management, though people skills cannot be ignored.

What Do They Expect You to Know?

When you work with the IRS or for the IRS in some way (even if it’s just handling IRS forms) you are not just an accountant, but a financial counselor of sorts. The median for this career field is approximately $49,000 per year, with insurance and retirement benefits if you manage to land a job with the IRS. However, with experience and higher education, the opportunity for more exists. The IRS also has tuition programs for helping students. To some extent, the pay will depend on your location and your office or job position. Don’t be alarmed if you have to submit to a number of background checks, as this is a government position and clearance is typically a must.

Sold on the idea of a stable and routine job that will be there tomorrow? Then, consider the requirements, which are not as challenging as you might think. If you want to work for the department directly then you are expected to have a four-year bachelor’s degree, as well as 30 hours of coursework behind your resume. This is standard for entry-level graduates. The work environment may be in an office or you may be asked to work in the field, perhaps traveling to taxpayer’s homes or places of business.

While many careers are expected to fall because of advancing automated technology, tax revenue agents are expected to continue to find work for the next ten years, as the profession is set to grow by seven percent. Tax enforcement is a major issue for the IRS as the economy continues to shake, so your efforts to help this branch of the government can lead to your own prosperity.

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